The Biden administration plans to leverage the federal government’s clout as a major purchaser of health services to try to improve the quality of maternal care, with plans to create a new “Birthing-Friendly” hospital designation.
Caitlin Ginley, of the Center for Public Integrity, used data from the National Institute on Money in State Politics to demonstrate that the state officials who have joined forces to file a lawsuit challenging American health care reform have, together, received more than $5 million in campaign contributions from hospitals, pharmaceutical companies, doctors and insurers. Among the governors and attorneys general in the 20 states supporting the suit, a few stood out.
… the Center found that top recipients of industry money include Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, who has received more than $1 million from health care professionals since 1996, and former Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue, who took in at least $970,163 from the industry starting in 1992, when he was a state senator, until he left the governor’s office this week. Other major recipients involved in the lawsuit include former Pennsylvania Attorney General and newly-elected Governor Tom Corbett, who has received about $830,000, and Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour, with more than $770,000.
Ginley provides details on the donations each of those officials received, as well as several others. No word on how this compares to other samples of 40 high profile state politicians. Physician groups and private doctors played a major role in many of the cases she examined.
Politico’s Jennifer Haberkorn reports that, by cutting a deal in which customers will have to return more of their excess insurance subsidies after purchasing coverage on exchanges (beginning in 2014), legislators have found the money to prevent a scheduled cut in Medicare reimbursement rates. The reimbursement rate cuts, much opposed by physician groups, have been extended on a regular basis for some time now. The initial cuts had been designed to reduce government health spending. For more on covering the extensions and cuts, see AHCJ’s tip sheet.
For more on this specific deal, here’s Politico’s Haberkorn again:
Under the health care reform law, if a person gets more of a tax subsidy than they’re eligible for, they’d have to repay no more than $250. Families would have to repay no more than $450.
The deal on the table would raise those caps on a sliding scale based on income. The figures haven’t been finalized yet.
The changes would free up about $19.2 billion to cover the one-year Medicare patch, according to Congressional Budget Office estimates.
The changes would impact about 200,000 people, according to a Congressional aide familiar with the estimates.
Progressive Democrats are expected to push back, Haberkorn writes. For more on the political machinations, head on over to Politico.
In the American Medical Association’s American Medical News, Amy Lynn Sorrel reports on resolutions from the AMA’s annual meeting calling for an increase in medical school funding through scholarships and loans and for the use of other “innovative” debt-reduction programs.
According to Sorrel, students are leaving medical school with debt loads that sometimes top $200,000, burdens which some sources said push students away from longer residencies or lower-paying, underserved specializations and locations.
Delegates at the 2009 meeting called for innovative new measures, including “shortening the length of training for combined residency or dual-degree programs, easing loan repayment obligations and ensuring equitable tuition increases.”
CNN will live stream President Obama’s speech to the American Medical Association at 12:15 p.m. ET. To see it, visit the CNN site, then click “live video” and then select the video labeled “Obama speaks to American Medical Assoc.”
Earlier: Obama adds AMA to health-care tour